Dec. 6, 2013
|| #16/15 Memphis (5-1) vs Northwestern State (3-3)
||Saturday, December 7 - 12 p.m. CT | FedExForum
|| How to Follow
Tigers On TV/Radio/Web
Radio: Rock 103 FM/102.7 FM (Jeff Brightwell, play-by-play; Matt Dillon, color analyst; Forrest Goodman, studio host)
Web: WatchESPN/ESPN3.com (Greg Gaston, play-by-play; Darrin Horn, analyst)
The Last Meeting
November 17, 2010
No. 19 Memphis Defeats Northwestern State, 94-79
Wesley Witherspoon netted his first career double-double with 24 points and 12 rebounds and Will Barton added 22 points, including 11 straight in the second half, to lift Memphis past Northwestern State 94-79 Wednesday night at FedExForum.
SETTING THE SCENE
Memphis (5-1, 0-0 The American) returns home to FedExForum Saturday, Dec. 7 to host Northwestern State (3-3, 0-0 Southland). Game time is 12 p.m. (CT).
The Memphis-Northwestern State game is not scheduled for television, but can be viewed via the web at ESPN3.com/WatchESPN.
The Tigers remained in both national polls this week. Memphis moved up to the No. 16 spot in the Associated Press poll and the No. 15 position in the USA Today coaches poll. Northwestern State is not ranked.
After nearly a week off from competition, Memphis returns to play after winning the 2013 Old Spice Classic championship in Orlando, Fla., over the Thanksgiving holiday weekend. The Tigers defeated Siena 87-60, LSU 76-69 and No. 5/8 Oklahoma State 73-68 to claim the title.
The Tigers are 2-0 at FedExForum this season with home victories over Austin Peay 95-69 Nov. 14 and Nicholls 95-59 Nov. 23.
Memphis returns three starters, but only five letterwinners from last year's squad.
Saturday's contest is the fourth road game for Northwestern State this season. The Demons have a 1-2 record on the road.
Northwestern State returns three starters and 12 letterwinners from last year's squad.
WHAT THE DEMONS DID A YEAR AGO
Northwestern State posted a 23-9 overall record and a 15-3 Southland Conference (SLC) mark in 2012-13.
The Demons finished second in the Southland Conference regular-season standings.
In the Southland Conference Tournament, Northwestern State defeated Stephen F. Austin 68-66 to win the crown and earn the league's automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament.
The Demons, the South Region's No. 14 seed, fell to No. 3 seed Florida 79-47 in the NCAA Tournament second round.
SCOUTING THE DEMONS
Northwestern State brings a 3-3 record into Saturday's non-conference contest.
Saturday's contest is the fourth road game of the early season for the Demons. Northwestern State is 1-2 on the road, with its lone road victory a 111-92 win at Auburn Nov. 15.
Northwestern State was picked as the preseason favorite to win the Southland Conference (SLC) title.
Jalan West and DeQuan Hicks both were named to the 2013-14 preseason All-SLC first team.
West, the 2012-13 Southland Conference Freshman of the Year and SLC All-Defensive Team pick, leads four Demons in double figures with an 18.0 scoring average.
Hicks (15.0 ppg), Zikiteran Woodley (14.3 ppg) and Brison White (12.8 ppg) also average double digits scoring for Northwestern State.
Last season, Hicks was the SLC Newcomer of the Year and an All-SLC second team pick.
Hicks leads the Demons on the glass with a 7.0 rebounding average, with Woodley the squad's second-leading rebounder at 5.3 rpg.
West is the team's top playmaker with 33 assists (5.5 apg) and is tied for the team lead in steals with 13 (tied with Hicks).
Gary Stewart is the Demons' top three-point threat at 46.7 percent from the arc.
Northwestern State is shooting 43.8 percent from the field, 26.6 percent from the arc and 69.8 percent from the free throw line.
Opponents are out-rebounding the Demons by an average margin of +11.3 boards per game (51.3-40.0).
Mike McConathy is in his 15th season as Northwestern State's head coach. He has a 228-219 record at the school.
Memphis and Northwestern State have played one common opponent this season, and the following shows the results:
UofM Common Foe NSU
76-69, W (N) LSU 74-88, L (A)
GET YOUR TRACK SHOES READY
Fans at FedExForum better be ready for a fast-paced contest Saturday when Memphis hosts Northwestern State, as both have top-scoring offenses in their respective conferences.
The Tigers lead the American Athletic Conference in scoring offense at 84.8 ppg.
Northwestern State is the Southland Conference's top-scoring offense at 89.7 ppg.
DISHIN' & SWIPIN'
Two reasons that Memphis and Northwestern State have high-scoring offenses are both squads share the ball well (assists) and also cause turnovers (steals) that lead to easy baskets.
The Tigers and Demons are ranked in the top two in both assists and steals in their respective leagues and the following shows that:
UofM/Rank Statistic NSU/Rank
15.5/2nd Assists 15.2/2nd
10.2/2nd Steals 10.3/1st
MEMPHIS VS. THE SOUTHLAND CONFERENCE
The Tigers have an all-time 35-5 record versus Southland Conference (SLC) foes (.872 winning percentage).
Memphis has played Abilene Christian (2-0), Central Arkansas (1-2), Houston Baptist (1-0), Lamar (4-1), McNeese State (2-0), New Orleans (8-0), Nicholls (2-0), Northwestern State (5-0), Oral Roberts (6-2), Sam Houston State (2-0), Southeastern Louisiana (1-0) and Texas A&M-Corpus Christi (1-0).
The current Southland Conference member the Tigers have not played is Incarnate Word and Stephen F. Austin. Incarnate Word joined the Southland Conference this season.
The last time the Tigers played a Southland Conference foe was two weeks ago (Nov. 23, 2013) when they host Nicholls at FedExForum. Memphis defeated the Colonels 98-59.
Josh Pastner is a perfect 6-0 against Southland Conference members.
TIGERS NEAR PERFECTION VS. LOUISIANA SCHOOLS IN 21ST CENTURY
Since the 2000-01 season, the Tigers have a 28-1 record (.966 winning percentage) against NCAA Division I schools from the state of Louisiana.
Memphis is playing its third NCAA Division I school from the state of Louisiana Saturday when it hosts Northwestern State.
The Tigers already played Nicholls Nov. 23 and LSU Nov. 29 and won both contests. Memphis defeated the Colonels 98-59 and LSU 76-69.
Head coach Josh Pastner has an 8-0 record versus state of Louisiana NCAA Division I schools.
TIGERS NON-CONFERENCE SUCCESS
Since 1999-2000, the Tigers have a non-conference record (including postseason) of 194-67 for a 74.3 winning percentage.
In 2012-13, Memphis was 15-5 against non-conference opponents (including postseason).
NOVEMBER, PLEASE DON'T GO...
Since 1999-2000, Memphis has a 57-20 record (.740 winning percentage) in November.
Of the 20 November losses, 12 were to nationally-ranked teams.
The Tigers are 40-9 (.816 winning percentage) in November the last nine seasons (2005-06 to 2013-14), with four of the nine setbacks coming to ranked opponents.
... BUT DECEMBER'S NOT TOO BAD
While the Tigers have been successful in the month of November, December has been just as good.
Since the 1999-2000 season, the Tigers have a 69-29 record (.704 winning percentage) when playing in the month of December.
Memphis was 5-1 last December.
The Tigers have won 44 of its last 56 December contests (.786 winning percentage), dating back to the 2004-05 season.
TIGERS SUCCESS AT FEDEXFORUM
The Tigers have a 164-18 overall record (.901 winning percentage) at FedExForum since moving to the arena for the 2004-05 campaign.
Since the 2005 Conference USA Tournament, Memphis has won 154 of its last 166 home games (.928 winning percentage).
BEST HOMECOURT ADVANTAGE
Since 2004-05, Memphis has won 164 games at FedExForum, the most home wins in the country over that span of time.
The following are the top-five programs with the most home wins since 2004-05 (credit to former Memphis Athletics Communications Assistant Bryan McEldowney for compiling this list):
Most Home Wins Since 2004-05
(as of Dec. 5, 2013)
1. Memphis 164
2. Ohio State 159
3. Syracuse 154
4. Kansas 152
COUNTDOWN TO 4 MILLION IS ON
At some time in the 2013-14 season, the Tigers will go over the 4-million mark for home attendance in the 21st century.
And the countdown started with Memphis' Nov. 14 season opener versus Austin Peay.
After Saturday's game against Northwestern State, the Tigers will inch closer to that 4-million attendance mark. Memphis is just over 65,000 fans from reaching the 4-million mark entering Saturday's game.
From 2000-01 through 2012-13, Memphis had 3,903,309 fans (15,600 per game average) witness the Tigers play in person at The Pyramid (2000-04) and FedExForum (2004-13).
Memphis has ranked among the top-20 in NCAA Division I attendance 12 of the past 13 seasons, including finishing 11th in 2012-13.
TIGERS JOINING ELITE ATTENDANCE GROUP SOON
When it reaches the 4-million mark for attendance in the 21st century, Memphis will be only the fifth NCAA Division I school to do so.
The other four NCAA Division I schools that have already reached the 4-million mark in attendance are Kentucky, Louisville, North Carolina and Syracuse.
A LOOK-BACK AT OLD SPICE
Memphis won the 2013 Old Spice Classic in Orlando, Fla., over the Thanksgiving weekend.
The Tigers defeated Siena 87-60, LSU 76-69 and No. 5/8 Oklahoma State 73-68.
The Old Spice Classic title was the program's first bracketed tournament championship since Memphis won the 2k Sports College Hoops Classic in November of 2007.
The Old Spice Classic was the Tigers' 17th in-season tournament/classic title.
The win over Oklahoma State in the Old Spice Classic championship game was Memphis' 100th win in in-season tournaments/classics. The Tigers' in-season tournaments/classics record now is 100-66 (.602 winning percentage).
Sophomore Shaq Goodwin was named the Old Spice Classic's MVP, and freshman Austin Nichols was selected to the Old Spice Classic All-Tournament Team.
LAST TIME THAT, NATIONAL RANKING STYLE
Memphis defeated No. 5/8 Oklahoma State 73-68 to win the 2013 Old Spice Classic title Dec. 1.
The win was the Tigers' first over a top-five nationally-ranked team since Memphis defeated No. 3 UCLA 78-63 in the NCAA Final Four in San Antonio, Texas, Apr. 5, 2008.
It was the first win over a top-five nationally-ranked team in regular-season play since Memphis defeated No. 5 Georgetown 85-71 at FedExForum Dec. 22, 2007.
PASTNER NO. 5 ON MEMPHIS WINS CHART
Head coach Josh Pastner entered 2013-14 with 106 wins and needed only four victories to move into the No. 5 spot for all-time wins at Memphis.
With the Tigers' 76-69 victory over LSU Nov. 29, Pastner got his fourth win of 2013-14 and is now in the No. 5 spot on the Memphis all-time coaching wins list with 111.
Pastner jumped Bob Vanatta, who compiled a 109-34 record from 1956-62.
The following lists the top-five winningest coaches (by number of wins) in Memphis history:
Coach/Years No. of Wins
Larry Finch/1986-97 220
John Calipari/2000-09 214
Zach Curlin/1924-48 173
Dana Kirk/1979-86 159
Josh Pastner/2009-present 111